Sunday, October 5, 2014

September 29, 2014

Hola familia!!
Oh good, I just wanted to make sure that you got it. I wanted to send more in it but I ran out of time. But i promise there is more to come. I hope Adams mom is alright. That sounds miserable, I will keep her in my prayers. Sorry about the thunder storm. A few days ago there was a fire at the base down the street. They have control over all the flights into the ohair airport until they get into a certain distance. So we were kept awake by a bunch of Helicopters around 5am. They stayed almost all day right above our apartment. It caused quite a scene. But I think everything is alright now.
I hope the fall has been treating you well. Some leaves have started changing, others falling... The season seems to be as indecisive as the spiritual state of our investigators. Today it is about 70 degrees and feels like July.
Thankfully, unlike the seasons, we can actually do something about the later. So we are praying for miracles, testifying with power, and working like mad... there seems to be a continually urgency in the work. Thanks to the Book of Mormon we have been able to begin the harvesting process of many. Patience is required as well as charity. I have come to learn this week that God is in charge of it all. We simple work as if it depended on us and pray as if it depends on the Lord. And then sit back and watch the hand of God. I am slowly realizing that we can only do as much as we can do and leave the rest up to God.
La familia Torres is coming to activities but missed out on church and missed both of their appointments. La familia Maldonado is learning the hard way that their is opposition in all things. The closer they come to an answer the more obstacles they are faced with, and since they still haven't come to church, their spiritual reserve tank is about as full as the Bonneville Lake. But we were able to read out of Joseph Smith History and his experience of overcoming the enemy and that gave them a little hope. It has been difficult to keep members involved because they haven't kept appointments. However, I know that God never gives up on people. No matter how much they put worldly things about Him, He continually loves them and is always willing to forgive.
On the contrary, I have gained a testimony of the law of compensation. God always compensates for our efforts, even when our efforts are not sufficient. For example, we found an amazing investigator who has taken in 3 of her nephews kids because the mom abandoned them. She has been humbled and has truly learned to trust in the Lord and seek his guidance. I have learned alot from her example. We are excited to help her discover the gospel. Also we knocked into a less active family who had been lost in the records and havent been to church in over 20 years, and they were able to come to the women conference on Saturday! Miracles.
Ill send some picutres in a min. We had some great things this week (and last week)!! Including a really fun ward activity where everyone cooked delicious mexican food and danced. We had a great turn out.
I fasted on Saturday to ask God to give me a little more faith for the future. As I began my personal study I read Helaman 12:1 Y así podemos ver cuán falso e inconstante es el corazón de los hijos de los hombres; sí, podemos ver que el Señor en su grande e infinita bondad bendice y hace prosperar a aquellos que en él ponen su confianza. I really like the line "falso e inconstante es el corazon de los hijos de los hombres" and it got me thinking about the word constante (constant). Constant: continuous, steady, sure, faithful, stable, invariable, unvarying, loyal, trustworthy, devoted, persistent, unceasing, unremitting, steadfast. What are the characteristic of un Corazon constante? Well 1 Nefi 9:40 says “…Sé que las palabras de verdad son duras contra toda impureza; mas los justos no las temen, porque aman la verdad y son constants.” Or “…I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.” So when we have a consistent heart, we firm, unmovable, love truth, and continually keep the commandments. We don’t let anything shake us from our resolve to do what is right. We have an relentless desire to serve God and have an eye single to the goal. It just got me thinking of all the things we need to do in order to have a consistent heart and stay strong in the gospel. Even though its difficult to see our progress at times, continued, daily righteous action (preseverando haste el fin) help us to develop Christ-like characters over time. I think that is why endurance is the fifth step in the gospel.
I know that as I learn to be consistent- consistent in the good habits I have learned, the testimony I have gains, consistent in in serving and always standing true to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon- I have nothing to fear.
Thanks for all you do! I hope you have a great week!! Is there anything that I can do for you?!!  By the way, thanks for the scripture case!!
Hermana Johnson

September 22, 2014

Buenos Dias familia!!
We had a great week! We has zone conference, exchanges, and a mission
conference all in one week so we are trying to catch our breath. So
much inspiration and so little time. I love the Book of Mormon and the
prophet joseph smith. I was reading over my goals from my first
transfer of my mission. Goal number one: rock solid, unshakable
testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I am extremely
grateful for president Fenn and his amazing testimony. I now have an
unshakable testimony of the Book of Mormon and the prophet of the
restoration. The mission conference was in honor of the coming forth
of the Book of Mormon! Man, I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. I know that it
is the word of God, and than any man, that has a sincere heart and
real intent, will get nearer to God by "abiding by its precepts, then
by any other book." The Book of Mormon has brought me closer to my
savior and given me purpose and understanding of my life. I know as we
follow the council and apply the principles in our life's, it will
lead us to a desire to make and keep sacred covenants with our
Heavenly Father.
President Fenn spoke and then we had lunch and then 2 hours of
testimonies. A moment I will not soon forget was watching president
Fenn sing Praise to the Man and starring out over the sea of
missionaries. He was getting pretty emotional.
He also sent us all out with another Book of Mormon challenge:

 From today until the end of the year (December 31) to read the Book
of Mormon.
   BLUE: everytime it mentions something about the covenants God has
made with the house of Israel.
   RED: anything that relates to the doctrine of conversion and being
born again.
   YELLOW: what we learn about teaching from the Book of Mormon.
Ready, set, go...

Not a lot is happening with our investigators, it's amazing how many
things can get in the way of our progression. I am praying that our
families can just take the leap of faith and set a date for baptism.
Hermana Richardson is doing great, her Spanish really is great, she
picks up on thinks very quickly. I am trying to help her over come
some of her fears... Talking to strainers, climbing tall stairs, and
killing spiders.
We have been in a trio for the last 3 days because Hermana Morbeys
companion went home on medical reasons. It has been really fun!
Also I want to invite everyone to read the harvester from president
Fenn this week.  It was genius... Pure inspiration. "The change of
heart is referred to in the scriptures as being “born again.” This
involves both a moment of decision and thereafter discipline and
consecration. It takes sustained effort." I have a strong testimony
that our desires determine who we become, if we have a desire to
become like our Heavenly Father, everything we do will reflect that
And just one for the road: "an upright character is the result of a
continued effort and right thinking, the effect of long-cherished
association with godlike thoughts."
Thanks for all you do, please let me know what we can do for you. I
love you all so much!!!
Hermana Johnson

September 15, 2014

I hope everyone is having a great week.
Just a couple updates. My week was great, we were able to have a
lesson with familia Maldonado, they are doing great but still haven't
been able to come to church. We are counting our blessings today, la
familia Torres that has come to church the last 5 weeks finally set an
appointment with us for tonight. Word has it that Jose told obispo
that he wants to be baptized; hopefully we can set a date tonight.
We had an appointment with Pricila this morning. Last week we told her
that she is having a hard time progressing because she is not coming
to church and unless she can commit that it will be hard to progress
to baptism. Then she surprised us and came to church. So today during
the lesson we brought up baptism. She is apprehensive as well as us,
because if church attendance is a struggle we don't want her to go
inactive after baptism. But I know it gets more difficult of overcome
the temptations the longer you wait for baptism. Preach my gospel says
that if they are struggling with a commitment to wait until they are
following until baptism, so I guess we will just see.
Hermana Richardson is great. Her Spanish is excelling and we are
trying to focus thoughts and spend all time on the work. I am leaning
a lot from her. We are having a blast, even though it's freezing
outside... Here comes winter. Yah!
Thanks for everything, let us know how we can help. I love you all,
sorry it's so short. Thanks for your emails and pictures, for the
family history!!! I really appreciate it. I promise I'll write more
next week. And your getting a letter in the he mail, so hopefully that
makes up for it. Que le vaya muy bien! Les quiro mucho!!!
Con amor, Hermana Johnson

September 8, 2014

Buenos días familia!! Cómo están?
Era una semana muy buena!! Muchas cosas difíciles pero muchas cosas
muy buenas. Espero que han podido ver los milagros pequeños de cada
día como yo. Una bendición bien grande de la misión es para poder a
ver los milagros diarios. Sorry, I'm stuck in Spanish mode. Anyway,
miracles. We see miracle every day. In my life. The lives of others.
God loves all of his children, of that I have no doubt.
For example, we met a family last Monday at a church activity. They
are great. They are renting the house of obispo monarrez. How? Great
question. Well, when the family decided to move to Aurora they hadn't
even starting looking for a house, when they found a piece of paper
with a number on it to call for a house to rent. They called. Obispo
monarrez answered. They asked about the house, he said, "I haven't
even put the house in the market yet how did you know about it." They
said "well we found a paper with your number on it...." God works in
mysterious ways. Anyway, they looked at the house, and the deal was
done. So obispo invited the to the activity. Turns out they loved it,
and that they have been to about as many different churches as there
are in Galena st. here in Aurora (Galena st. Has about 18... We
counted). Each time they moved somewhere new they went to a different
church. After hearing Joseph smith story, and the spirit touching
their hearts, they are excited to learn more. I know has been
preparing them for a very long time for this opportunity.
We are still working with the familia Torrez... Basically they are
more active than 90% of our members but have been too busy to take
lessons. Man, the advisary can just fill our lives with so many
stinking things. And even though they are all great things, it's
important that we make time in our lives for the things that are most
important. Like toes relating to our salvation. I am 100% certain at
this moment that the only true, restored gospel of Jesus Christ of
which I am teaching, is the most important thing in the world. Without
it we can not return to live with our Heavenly Father an older brother
after this life. With out it, we will never reach our full potential,
and without it our purpose in this life would be in vane. I think it
would be a great idea to reflect on our personal lives. Identify the
way our time is spent and how much of it is truly spent building up
the kingdom of God and helping us reach our purpose and potential.
Just a quick thought on will and desires...
Elder Russell T. Osguthorpe said "if gods will is to be done by us and
through us, then our will needs to be ghetto same as gods. We need to
want what He wants."
"Giving our will to The Lord doesn't mean that we give up our agency.
In reality, the opposite is true. The more we give our will to the
Lord, the more our own ability to exercise our moral agency grows.
Knowing what God wants us to know, saying what He wants us to say,
doing what He wants us to do all lead us to being what He wants us to
be. God gave us agency so we could yield ourselves to Him, not so we
could succumb to temptation." There is a direct connection between
what we desire and how act, if we really want something, we are going
to act in accordance. It's like the little boy and the cookie jar. He
wants a cooking, he is going to get a stool, climb the counter, clear
the fridge... Do whatever he needs to in order to reach his goal. If
the cookie is the gospel or a spot in the celestial kingdom, and the
little boy is the honest seeker of truth... They will do whatever
needs to be done, they will sacrifice whatever we must sacrifice in
order to reach the goal. Obviously we are not perfect, and life brings
other things the occupy our time and our minds, but I have a testimony
that when we sacrifice time for the things that matter most, daily
sacrifice our will for gods, life has much more purpose and much more
meaning. The daily challenges that we overcome will help turn us into
the person god wants us to be.

I love you all, I love the gospel, and I love my Heavenly Father. Let
me know if there is anything that I can do, your in my prayers every
Con mucho amor,
La hermana Johnson

September 1, 2014

Dear familia!
Well, I'm ready to start another great transfer here in Aurora! One
thing I have alway lacked in life is endurance, and I think this area
is really helping me learn not just how to endure, but to endure
faithfully, joyfully, to the end.. At least the end of another
transfer :) And yet, God continues to bless us ever single day with
miracles. I love being a missionary.
Miracle of the week; Saturday we were studying during 12 week about
revelation through prayer. As we conversed we decided that we needed
to pray in more specifics. That same day we had a lot finding
scheduled. Before getting out of the car we prayed to find a family
that has 2 kids over baptism age and that all have the ability to be
baptized. We got out and decided to knock 2 doors. The first door: we
meet Maria. Mother of 4 kids, 2 over baptism age. We talked, she asked
us to come back the next day... Hermana Richardson and I were in awe.
So we left. On our way to the car, we met an hermano, who was leaving.
He told us to go in to meet his wife. We met the wife, 3 sons (2 over
baptism age) and the dad come home right in time to hear the first
vision. They are a miracle family and all have a lot of interest in
learning more. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers. Most of
the time, He is just waiting for us to ask the question.
Hermana Richardson is doing great, I'm excited to finish her training.
We are trying to always work a little harder and do a little more. I
am learning a lot this transfer about the difference of being busy and
being productive. It's easy to be busy doing the little things, but
it's important to focus on the big things. Also there is a difference
between busy and worthy. Even if we don't do everything perfectly and
we cannot give our all 100% of the time, we can still be exactly
obedient and worthy.
Today we had a super great picnic at the church... We all spent a few
hours cleaning and then celebrated with carne asada. I hope California
is treating you all well! Don't get sunburnt. Love you all so very
much. I couldn't have asked for a greater family and support system. I
would love to hear about anything you need or all he exciting stuff.
Also any advice... I'm trying to keep up the momentum.
Espero que todos tengan un bonito día y una semana tantísimo! Con mucho amor!!
La Hermana Johnson

August 25, 2014

Dear familia!
Como estan?! Espero que todo este bien! It's been a really hot and
humid week. A lot of rain and you just feel wet/sweaty/sticky... But
it's great.
hope you had as great of a week as we did!
The area is doing alright. After being in an area so long it's hard to
look back and not feel like you have seen any changes or great
improvement. But I know that The Lord does not work that way; He
prefers small and little miracles that eventually bring to pass great
works. So although I feel like we have seen little change in the wards
missionary work, I have seen so many miracles over the past transfers
that I cant deny that Aurora is where I am supposed to be.
However, every once and a while God gives you gigantic miracles. Like
Jose y Soxi.
They are member referrals. Hermana Saenz have invited this couple to
church countless times and each time was politely turned down.
However, this last week, Jose y Soxi, one Wednesday, asked Hermana
Saenz if they could accompany them to church... WHAT. (Don't be afraid
of rejections. One day they will remember.) They have been going
through some big life changes and want to strengthen their
relationship with God. They have come to church twice now and we met
for the first time with them this week. The lesson went great and we
are so excited to work with them... They are incredible people, when
they walked into Church, the majority thought they were visiting
As far as Pricilla goes, she came to church and is progressing. She is
doing a great job keeping the sabbath day holy, not going out or
shopping, and when her husband took out the son, she stayed home with
the kids. We are really proud of her.
Hermana Richardson is doing great. Her Spanish is really good, she
picks up on the language really fast, she just has a hard time
studying it, but I think it's just a difference in learning styles. It
gets a little rough because watching the 12 week videos, I tend to
feel a little inadequate. Ya know, because all the video shows you are
the perfect member present lessons, the spiritual moments, a little
bit of drama and then it skips to the baptism... In like 10 min. I
don't know about the California missions, but here in Aurora
conversion takes a little more time than that... Especially with
Hispanics because they all really like their novelas and cooking
tamales (did you know that it's like a very laborious, 5 hour process
from start to finish). But we just keep walking, reevaluating,
repenting, and God makes up the rest. Like Dory, we just keep
swimming... Literally, the humidity is so thick, we have to swim
Wish you were all here to share this great experience with, I love
seeing all the miracles, eating mole, and shopping en la supermercado!
Apparently the reason I was never very good at dancing before my
mission was because hadn't eaten enough chills. Las Hermanas Saenz
assured me that when I get home I'll be really good at it for all the
spicy Mexican meals I have eaten. Vamos a ver.
I love you all so much!!! I hope everything at home is going well!!
Let me know how i can help! Have a fantastic week! Muchisimo amor!!!
La Hermana Johnson